The City Council in Homer, a tourist and fishing town on Alaska's Kachemak Bay, voted this week to phase out a feeding program that for nearly 30 years has drawn hundreds of eagles to feast each winter on handouts of herring, halibut and salmon. The town acted after Alaska's Board of Game declined to regulate the feeding.
Between free meals in Homer over the years, the U.S. national symbol — which is thriving in Alaska, where there are about 50,000 of them — has become a chronic troublemaker. The birds of prey, as large as 12 pounds with maximum wingspans of 7 feet, electrocute themselves on power lines, gouge each other's eyes out and make themselves sick by snacking at the town dump. They also eat the occasional cat or small dog.
Build your own metaphor.